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Latest Business News Wires - Business Headlines

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  • WASHINGTON, Feb 18- U.S. manufacturing output rose modestly in January and not at all in December, potentially worrisome signs for the U.S. economy given the recent strength in the dollar and weaker overseas markets. Factory output edged up 0.2 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. The data showed flat output in December, a downward revision...

  • UPDATE 2-Actavis beats profit estimates, raises forecast Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 9:11 AM ET

    Feb 18- Actavis Plc posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast, saying it expected strong sales of its new branded drugs. Actavis agreed to buy Allergan Inc last November for $66 billion, outbidding a hostile offer by activist investor William Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

  • Citigroup to set aside $100 bln to fund green initiatives Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 9:04 AM ET

    Feb 18- Citigroup Inc said it would set aside $100 billion to fund environmental projects over the next decade, doubling the amount it had earmarked for such projects in 2007.. Citigroup said it would fund projects related to renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions and sustainable transportation. In 2012, Bank of America Corp set a goal of $50 billion to...

  • Feb 18- Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, owner of the Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotel brands, forecast profit below market estimates for the first quarter as well as for the full year. Hilton, which recently sold its Waldorf Astoria New York hotel to China- based Anbang Insurance Group Co for $1.95 billion, gets about three-fourth of its revenue from the United...

  • LONDON, Feb 18- British pay growth outstripped a dwindling inflation rate by the widest margin since before the financial crisis in December, several measures of earnings showed, giving many households a boost ahead of elections in May. The Office for National Statistics also said on Wednesday that the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.7 percent, its...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 18- U.S. producer prices posted a record decline in January, weighed down by plunging energy costs, pointing to very benign inflation pressures in the near term. The Labor Department said on Wednesday its producer price index for final demand dropped 0.8 percent, the biggest drop since the revamped series started in November 2009, after falling...

  • U.S. housing starts fall, but still at lofty levels Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Feb 18- U.S. housing starts fell in January as ground breaking for single-family projects slipped off a 6-1/ 2- year peak, but stayed at levels consistent with a gradually improving housing market. Groundbreaking declined 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.07 million units, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

  • AMSTERDAM, Feb 18- Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp and the Dutch government ignored the danger of earthquakes caused by gas extraction at the massive Groningen gas field for decades, the Dutch Safety Board said on Wednesday. The board's year-long inquiry concluded that the Economy Ministry, State Supervision of Mines and NAM, the Shell-Exxon Mobil joint...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 18- Russia's Finance Ministry sold 15 billion roubles of OFZ treasury bonds at two auctions on Wednesday, the whole amount on offer, in a sign that demand for Russian assets is picking up after taking a hit from the Ukraine crisis. The ministry has seen better demand at its weekly treasury bond auctions recently after being forced to cancel many...

  • ATHENS, Feb 18- Greece will request an extension of its loan agreement from its euro zone partners on Thursday morning, a Greek government official said on Wednesday. Athens was initially expected to ask for an extension on Wednesday. 1/ 8 ID: nL5N0VS1KPT 1/ 8. The new government refuses to seek an extension of the EU/IMF bailout programme, which is due to expire on Feb....

  • UPDATE 1-Rolls-Royce ventures offroad in hunt for growth Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 8:04 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Feb 18- Venerable luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce is preparing to jump on the SUV bandwagon that other premium marques have already set in motion in the chase for sales growth. The change of heart comes after parent company BMW said that it will build an X7 offroader with three rows of seats and rivals Bentley and Jaguar unveiled plans for their own SUVs.

  • Duke has been retiring some of its coal powered plants to comply with North Carolina's Coal Ash Management Act of 2014. The state's Senate has asked Duke to close 33 coal ash ponds within 15 years after coal ash was released into the Dan River from a retired plant in February last year. The company said it recorded a charge of 14 cents per share in anticipation of...

  • LONDON, Feb 18- Sterling was the biggest mover on major currency markets on Wednesday, driven higher by the latest in a batch of more optimistic signals on Britain's economic prospects ahead of elections in May. In Europe, all eyes remained on Greece and the associated risks to the euro while the yen steadied after a jump driven by the Bank of Japan's confirmation...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 18- Russian steelmaker Severstal reported its best core earnings margin in six years in the last quarter of 2014, helped by a weakened rouble which lifted exports and cut its costs, the company said on Wednesday. Severstal is the first Russian steelmaker to report financials for the final quarter of last year, when the rouble lost 30 percent against...

  • Sri Lanka says China "port city" broke rules Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 7:58 AM ET

    COLOMBO, Feb 18- Sri Lanka's prime minister said on Wednesday a $1.5 billion luxury real estate deal with China was signed without cabinet approval and without following procedures, and launched a new investigation to uncover any corruption. The last government entered into the deal with China, dubbed Port City, to build an offshore development on reclaimed...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 18- Russia's Finance Ministry sold 5 billion roubles of OFZ treasury bonds at auction, the whole amount on offer, at the second of two auctions on Wednesday at an average yield of 11.99 percent, Reuters data showed. The ministry has seen better demand at its weekly treasury bond auctions recently and sold all of the 10 billion roubles of bonds it...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 18- A Russian Finance Ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday that the ministry had started converting foreign currency from its Reserve Fund into roubles, via its accounts at the central bank, earlier this week. Maxim Oreshkin, head of the Finance Ministry's long-term strategic planning department, said the ministry intended to complete the...

  • Feb 18- Garmin Ltd, a maker of GPS-based gadgets, said a stronger dollar would slow down revenue growth and forecast a profit below market estimates for the full year. Garmin shares were down 6.5 percent in premarket trading. Sales of personal navigation devices, a business Garmin once dominated, fell about 11 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 27.

  • Actavis, which bought Botox-maker Allergan Inc in November, makes drugs from research in its own pipeline, and copy cat versions of other popular drugs. Sales of the Actavis's branded drugs nearly tripled to $1.83 billion in North America in the fourth quarter, accounting for 45 percent of total revenue. For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Actavis's net loss...

  • *Clock ticks on Athens as ECB governors meet in Frankfurt. FRANKFURT, Feb 18- The European Central Bank faces resistance from Germany to allowing any extra emergency lending for Greek banks, people familiar with the matter said, increasing pressure on Athens to sign up to an extended aid-for-reform programme. As Athens said on Wednesday it would ask for an...